Old Tools #1: Folding Rule Fiasco--an Appeal for Help

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Blog entry by naomi weiss posted 10-07-2009 03:53 PM 3174 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I got my folding rule from Walt. Anyway, i should have taken a ‘before’ shot. I decided to clean it, and i ended up messing it up, i think. Is it beyond repair? I saw this entry from Chris Schwarz, but i can’t get any Borax here, or oxallic acid.


So i am turning to you, my LJ buddies for help!

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

6 comments so far

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 5320 days

#1 posted 10-07-2009 04:39 PM

naomi weiss,
I would find another wood bleach besides oxalyic acid if it’s the wood you are concerned about cleaning. Frankly, the wood looks fine to me! As far as the brass goes, be carefull. The Borax is an abrasive cleaner and will scratch brass. I would prefer to use Never Dull it is mostly a kerosene based cleaner. It works wonders on rifle brass and removes carbon even with a little elbow grease.Before I tried to adjust hinge pins and or free them up if necessary. I would recommend the use of Kroil Oil or some other penetrating oil. Hope this helps!

Take care!

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


788 posts in 4427 days

#2 posted 10-07-2009 06:31 PM

I’d recommend boiled linseed oil for the wood. Wipe some on, let it dry. VERY LIGHTLY sand with 220 grit and give it another coat. That’s how we used to do our old wooden stock M14 rifles in the Army and it worked great. I have done that same process to rifle stocks and some wooden tools over time and I firmly believe in it.

It’s an easy to renew finish. Holds up fairly well.

Good luck! Cheers.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4731 days

#3 posted 10-07-2009 06:36 PM

I say don’t clean old tools if at all possible.


View Jerry's profile


80 posts in 4307 days

#4 posted 10-09-2009 05:40 AM


Check out this link WK Fine Tool Website ; this link takes you right to the ”Restoration” portion of their great and informative website.

If you cant find an answer to your question in already posted material all of the people there are friendly, helpful and experienced in working with antique tool restorations and will have plenty of advice and guidance for you. They helped me immensely with some old planes I was working on.


-- "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should be a Store, Not a Govt. Agency"

View polaski's profile


16 posts in 2371 days

#5 posted 10-15-2015 02:51 AM

Jay, in Lansing. If it’s good enough for an M-14, it’s good enough for few more inches of ruler.

What a sweet, sweet thing to hold, and I’m not talking about rulers.

-- Jeff Polaski

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4715 posts in 4263 days

#6 posted 10-15-2015 03:27 AM

If you are only cleaning off finger grime, just use something like Murphy’s Oil Soap, carefully, so as not to remove the paint. Otherwise, what you have there is just another scungy measuring device. There are many better devices on the market.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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